Master's Degrees in Speech Communication: Online & Campus-Based Programs

The multidisciplinary field of speech communications examines both personal and professional communications. Master's degree programs related to speech communications will teach you how to understand your audience and use that knowledge to communicate effectively. Learn more about the coursework in a communications program, and get info about online and on-campus program options. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program Related to Speech Communications?

Master's degrees specifically in speech communications are typically not available, but programs in broader fields like communications or communications studies will include speech-related coursework. These degrees are generally conferred in the Master of Arts (M.A.) format and will educate you in numerous aspects of interpersonal and rhetorical communication. You'll learn to communicate with colleagues and customers in a variety of professional settings. You will also become educated in all aspects of interpersonal communication, with required courses investigating such linguistic issues as the effect of culture and social roles upon verbal and nonverbal interaction. In addition, you'll learn how to use communicative speech as a persuasive tool.

Areas of Instruction Professional and interpersonal communication, persuasion, and communication theory
Program Requirements Thesis or comprehensive exams usually required
Common Courses Interpersonal communication, debate, linguistics, organizational communication, rhetorical speaking
Online Program Requirements Computer with internet connection, word processing software
Online Program Features Use of a teaching and learning platform; required deadlines for assignment completion
Median Salary (2018)$49,930 (Interpreters and Translators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)18% growth (Interpreters and Translators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is the Curriculum Like?

All curricula leave considerable room for electives, so you can take a full load of speech-related courses even in a broader communications program. As with most advanced degree programs, relevant research will also prominently figure into your plan of study, with curricula typically including at least a few core courses in communications research and theory.

In addition to mandatory lecture-based theoretical coursework, most programs require you to complete an original thesis in a relevant communications topic before graduating. In some institutions, however, you can select a non-thesis program option that allows you to take one or more comprehension exams instead.

What Kinds of Courses Will I Take?

Most master's degree programs in communications are of a fairly multidisciplinary nature. Course curricula aim to prepare students to successfully communicate in professional settings while keeping in mind the cultural and personality traits that influence workplace communications. To this end, required courses generally focus on social-science-related topics as well as teaching business concepts. Common core and elective topics in communications master's degree programs may include the following:

  • Communications research
  • Persuasive speaking
  • Theories of speech communications
  • Debating and arguments
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Discourse analysis
  • Linguistic theory
  • Intercultural communications
  • Organizational behavior
  • Conflict and crisis management

What Is the Difference Between Online and On-Campus Programs?

The biggest difference between online and campus-based communications master's studies is an obvious one - online programs allow you to attend classes virtually rather than reporting to a physical campus location. All you'll need to fulfill the requirements for your online master's degree is a computer, a reliable Internet connection and perhaps some software like Microsoft Word or Adobe to view course documents.

How Does Online Learning Work?

As an online student, you'll 'attend' your courses by accessing all their relevant materials through whichever online teaching and learning platform - Blackboard Vista and WebCT are among the most popular - your school uses for its distance-learning programs. These systems allow your teachers to post lectures, assignments, discussion questions, exams and updates, and you can download, view and complete them at your convenience. It's important to note, however, that while you do not need to access these things at any specific time, there are still due dates by which exams, papers and class discussion posts must be completed.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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